Apr 29, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Pages/Format: 480, ARC

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: GOOD

Maybe that's my initial reaction. I don't really know, because I can't think of one word to describe this book. I'm not quite sure what my thoughts are on The 5th Wave. From what I've seen in other reviews, this book is amazing and epic and OH MY GOSH SO GOOD. So I was kind of expecting all that; I wanted to feel the hype. Maybe it's because of all the hype that I didn't feel it. But don't get me wrong--this book is really good. I just didn't see all the epicness so many people have been gushing about.

Let's get what I didn't like out of the way. While it didn't take long for me to get into the book, it wasn't quick, either. But that's because I was confused and trying to figure out what was going on. In case you didn't know, this book is about aliens invading Earth and basically destroying all of humanity--and it didn't play out how I thought it would. The book is divided into sections--mostly told between Cassie and Zombie, with a couple other characters having a small section. In the beginning, it's all Cassie. It flipped between the past and present, which sometimes got me a little lost--seeing when the aliens invaded and seeing after they had killed almost everyone. It wasn't until about 150 pages into the book (final copy is 480) that I really started getting into it, and that just grew with each chapter, each section. Sometimes I got confused with the mixes of past and present tense, as well as first and third person point of view, that would appear in the same chapter to show perspectives. My other confusion stemmed from the story itself--trying to understand it. I don't know a lot of military terms, so that threw me off a bit. And then there was everything about the aliens--trying to figure out what they were doing and how they were doing it. I understood most of it, but sometimes I just nodded my head and pretended I knew what was going on. And some things were kind of hard to believe. Like, there are aliens killing people--why would you be doing that?

I really liked the characters. Cassie, although sometimes a little too mean and bitchy (can you blame her when most everyone she knows is dead?), was the POV I liked reading from the most. Her adventure and path was the most interesting (especially because I'm a sucker for romance); she's trying to find her little brother, Sammy. Along the way she crosses paths with Evan Walker, who I really liked, for reasons. There's also Zombie, a soldier on the human side. (Sorry this is all vague, but telling you would be spoilery.) I liked how I, as the reader, couldn't really trust anyone--and not trusting anyone is one of the rules of survival in the book. I never really knew for sure who was the good guy and who was the enemy, who was a human and who was an alien. And that helped pull the story along, making me wanting all the answers.

The story itself was interesting, even if some things didn't work for me. At certain points I was on my toes, just wanting to know what on earth (hey, that's a pun!) was going to happen. I had several predictions, some of which came true. There were moments that made me smile and some moments that made me want to cry. There was romance (thank gosh!) and scenes that, thinking back on them, give me butterflies. There was action and thrills and death and just everything. It freaks you out a bit, trying to imagine a world like this--a world where over seven billion people are dead and you don't know when you'll die and you think you might be the last human on Earth. It's an interesting take on aliens taking over the world, and I enjoyed it.

The morning after I read The 5th Wave, when I was half awake, half asleep, my mind kept playing out this book. I can't quite remember, but I think a lot of it was me trying to figure out what on earth happened, trying to predict what will happen in book two. (And so this book has been flying in and out of my mind throughout the day. I think this might be one of those books that I like more over time.) I know I'm forgetting to mention something about this book, but I don't know what. I guess it kind of left me speechless. I barely have an idea what happened in that ending, and I have to wait a freaking year to find out. (I really, really need book two, because I need to know what happened with something before I go crazy.) This review may make it seem like I only kind of liked this book, but that's not the case--I really liked it. It was a lot different than what I had expected, but in a good way. However, I just don't see the epicness that everyone else seems to be talking about. I look forward to seeing just what the 5th Wave is and what it will bring to the rest of humanity. I have a feeling it's going to be crazy and one helluva ride, and I can't wait to ride it.

(Side Note: What do you think of the cover? I keep thinking the person is Katniss Everdeen, and the cover itself makes me think it's an adult book.)

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? Possibly.
Would I purchase it? I wouldn't mind having a finished copy.
Would I recommend it? Yep!


  1. Great review! I haven't read this one, but I'm wanting to buy it! I wanna see what all the hype is about for myself! Seems like a good alien book?

  2. I heard about this one too! But I have never thoroughly checked it out. But brilliant review :D Definitely going to it add to my list, it does sound... different ;)

    Can't wait to read it myself! And thanks for sharing this :)

    xoxo, Mariam @Book-A-Holic

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I know they have hyped it so much, though, so I might end up like you, thinking it was good but not all the hype-worthy.

    YA Sisterhood

  4. I just got a copy of this one! I don't know much about it though. It sounds like it might be hrs for me to keep up but I'm willing to give it a shot :). Awesome review!


  5. I love this creepy cover. Although, I'm not a huge fan of alien books or movies I've heard a lot of good things about this and the synopsis does sound interesting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes too much hype is a bad thing.

    Kay @ I'ts a Book Life

  6. I really liked how confusing this books was (at first) because that kind of made sense to me? It made me feel more in touch with the characters, which was a plus in my opinion! And yes, I really liked Evan's character. He wasn't what I was expecting and I LOVED that.

    I'm also a big fan of the cover - I think it's cool that it looks more like an adult book than YA because then it stands out on YA shelves and I hope more people pick it up!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After


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